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Study Island

By Susan W. Hixson - Posted May 1, 2007
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REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Company: Study Island, 3400 Carlisle, Suite 345, Dallas, TX 75204. Phone: (800) 419-3191; Fax: (877) 592-1357; Internet: www.studyisland.com.

Price: A variety of purchase options are available, based on state, grade level, number of students, and selected curriculum. Prices are listed online on the introductory pages for each state.

Individual licenses for parents and students are priced at around $45 per subject, depending on grade level.

Audience: Students in grades 3-10. At the time of this review, programs for 24 states were available, each customized to match the standards or requirements for an individual state's testing system.

Format: Online program with lessons and progress reports.

Minimum System Requirements: A computer with Internet access and a Web browser. The program works best with a fast Internet connection. There are no special system requirements for this site.

Description:  Study Island is an online program designed to assist educators as they teach and assess student knowledge of the content standards required for each state. At the time of this review, the material covered the specific needs of 24 states. Content for additional states will be added in the future. Students log in with a password, view a lesson, and are tested on the material. The learning is followed with questions; games on study topics are available as student goals are reached.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access:  No installation is required, although some administrative setup is necessary. When the program is purchased, a designated district staff member must act as the Study Island administrator in charge of assigning usernames and passwords for students and teachers. Study Island will assist in the setup. Teacher training programs can be arranged on-site or online. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: Study Island is designed to help students achieve success on state achievement tests. Teachers can set up a Web page to guide student practice on skills targeted in upcoming testing.

The students are pretested on the subject matter before levels of instruction are set. The online lessons, written as reviews to classroom learning, are followed by questions on the topic. Scoring is done in real time.

Each time a student returns to a topic, new questions are presented until a goal has been reached or the entire bank of questions has been used. The size of the question list is always growing; students continually have new opportunities to be successful.

Program work sheets may be printed to give students practice at their seats.

Students work to master a topic and to achieve a blue ribbon. The material is updated each summer to reflect state assessment revisions.

The program offers a variety of features. A Spanish-language version is available for math and reading programs. On-site or online teacher training may be purchased.

Teachers and students can communicate with each other by posting online messages. The message area will appear each time the student logs into the program.

Teachers can log in and view detailed reports on student work. Reports are available in eight formats. Each report includes links to additional details. Teachers can click on a student name to bring up a review of percentages, the amount of time spent on a topic, and the specific questions answered during the work time.

Additional features enhance report comprehension. A comparison feature offers bar graphs that can compare the success of a student with school and statewide percentages. A Topic Suggestion Report examines student scores and helps identify students needing remedial help.

Teachers can request a weekly email progress report on their classes. Links within the email provide additional information and detail.

The program is available in the homes of students with online access. Parents can see progress reports by logging in with a student password. Parents also can receive weekly student progress reports by email. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use:  Study Island is easy to use, for students and for teachers. The material is offered in a simple format and can be followed easily after a teacher's introduction. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Product support is available by calling a toll-free telephone number or by email. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: I highly recommend Study Island. I have worked in a classroom where the program was being used and have seen the results as students review specific topics and gain confidence.

Because the questions and games are matched to specific state standards, teachers can easily match their instruction to standards and can be assured that they are covering all the topics required for the state test.

This is a powerful tool to enhance motivation and retention. Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Susan W. Hixson, Integrating the Internet, Educational Consultant.


 
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